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More Colorful Than A Rainbow by Esteliel

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Written for Rastapoodle Snickerdoodle for the International Day of Slash, inspired by Thousand Foot Krutch - All I Need To Know:

And I don't know which way the wind will blow
But you're here with me and that's all I need to know

Bainith belongs to Zhie, Gwyndir and Eledu belong to Lalaith Raina, Ellonur and his petals are all mine (and the tentacle, too!).
He cannot remember the first time he wove flowers into his hair.

He remembers his mother's fingers, gentle and deft, binding small wreaths for him to wear or indulging him with intricate braids whenever he asked for them.

He remembers his father's large hand holding his own as they raced through fields of flowers, gathering armfuls of blossoms more colorful than a rainbow.

He remembers afternoon after afternoon of weaving flowers into his hair in front of a mirror when he grew older, admiring the way the pink and purple and blue and yellow flowers look against his black hair, taking his time to deliberate which garments go with his decorations.

There were always flowers in Rivendell. He loves picking them, carefully choosing each while already considering what clothes will go with them. He loves their scent - the overpowering perfume of lilacs, the restrained elegance of roses, bright freesias or sweet-pea.

When he moves into his home in Falathlorn, he chooses a house near one of the many cherry trees, spending evenings sitting at the stream while the pink petals drift lazily through the air. He misses his parents then, and he misses his home beneath the Misty Mountains, but the beauty of his surroundings always give him peace.

There are no cherry trees in the Shire, no perpetual storm of petals that reminds everyone who passes of the beauty of all living things. But there are apple trees, the giant pumpkin Bainith is growing, and the purple flowers Eledu has planted just to make him feel at home.

He does not even know their name, and, he suspects, neither does Eledu. But beauty needs no name to be beautiful, and their bright, cheerful purple and sweet scent is name enough for him as he carefully selects a handful of the brightest blossoms, breathing in their scent as he walks back into their hobbit hole.

Gwyndir is in the kitchen, cutting carrots and leeks for soup, and he distracts him from his task with a gentle kiss while he weaves a few of the flowers he has gathered into Gwyndir's hair. Eledu is at the table in the main room, looking over his collection of maps, and Ellonur pauses to wrap himself around him from behind, giggling softly as he blows against his neck and Eledu's map falls to the ground, revealing a parchment beneath with somewhat cruder sketches. Ellonur smirks and tucks a purple flower behind Eledu's ear, then walks towards their bedroom, humming a little song.

Bainith is asleep. His honey hair is spilled over the pillow, inviting touches and nuzzling, and his blanket has slipped low enough to reveal a shoulder and part of his back.

Ellonur takes hold of the blanket and pulls on it just a little, just enough to reveal all of that tempting back, then sets to work. A few flowers for Bainith's hair, bright spots of purple amidst the gold scattered like the kisses he yearns to leave. Petals to adorn his skin, falling to cover and surround Bainith in a gentle rain of beauty, like the cherry petal-laden evening breeze of Falathlorn.

This is home, Ellonur thinks. Home is not Imladris, though he loves the starry sky, the sound of the waterfalls like a steady, trusted companion. Home is not Falathlorn, though he loves his house there near the stream with the hammock strung beneath his trees. Home is not the Shire, though he has grown to love both green hills and fertile fields.

Home is this. Home is the scent of flowers, colorful petals adorning those he loves. Home is a kiss, a hug, watching his beloved sleep; his warmth, his weight so right that it is not their presence but their absence that renders him incapable of sleep.

When he left the valley to settle closer to the ocean, he did not know where his life would lead him. He never thought that home would be the Shire, one day, and he does not know if this will stay home, this land of apple pies and nosy neighbors.

But even now, with so much still unsaid between them, he already knows that home is Bainith, home is his kisses, sweet like Shire apples, his touch as fiery as the insults he flings at foes. Home is to fall asleep still trembling and sated, his lips pressed to salty skin, and to wake to the sounds of brewing coffee in the kitchen, their clothes still strewn along the way from the kitchen to their bedroom.

Home is where there grow flowers, bright and beautiful and transcendent, and where those whom he loves wear them in their hair, more beautiful even than cherry blossoms in spring.